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The Gossip Column

Omigod, did you see what she was wearing? It looked like a couple of carnies wrestling in colored Saran Wrap. Yes, she made it herself, she’s been doing it for years—she fancies herself some kind of designer. She’s even got a Web site. Oh, yes, she’s very crafty, but I don’t know who she thinks would buy those rags. Looks like a gypsy’s garage sale. She says she’s inspired by haute couture, or something; but, I can tell you, you won’t being seeing any of that stuff at the Gap anytime soon. And that hair? Tell me, does it have to be actual vegetable matter to qualify as topiary? What about those shoes? They were so weird. They were the absolute opposite of sexy: I’d call those birth-control pumps. It’s no wonder she’s with him.

Oh, you don’t know? He’s quite a prize. I heard he committed himself to Staggered Elms for outpatient treatment of—get this—nervous exhaustion! Exhaustion, as if he does any work. If he’s tired at all, it’s got to be from nervous days of self-pleasuring, or something. If she got better shoes, it’d probably help them both out.

What? Oh, no, he’s a musician—of course. He thinks he’s an artist. Just an excuse to lie around the house all day and, well . . . you know. I saw one of his performances—I just went because she asked me to—and though I’m no psychiatrist, I would have guessed then that he was addicted to self-pleasure. Well, because it certainly wasn’t enjoyable for anyone else in the room. I don’t know, it sounded like someone torturing cats to a jug-band accompaniment. And he said he’d been working on that performance for, like, a year. He takes himself so seriously. God, they’re such a pair. Just perfect little bohemians. The creative types.

Hold on a sec, let me turn down the TV. I love this show, but don’t worry—I’ve seen this one before. Oh, it’s that reality show, The Family Imbecile. You haven’t? You’ve got to. This family is just hysterical. They’re sooo trashy. They’ve got this, like, special-needs kid and they’re always fighting and yelling about what to do with him, ’cause he’s always messing stuff up because he’s so retarded, right? And the father’s a narcoleptic, and the wife’s a raging wino; so, he keeps falling asleep in the middle of her drunken tirades. She usually ends up waking him by beaning him with an egg-timer or something. And the daughter’s totally trampy: She’s always bringing home these greaseball losers—it’s like a running gag to see what kind of freak she’s with each episode. One night, she came back alone—but with a black eye. I swear, it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe how pathetic this family is. I’ve taped every one of them. I’ll loan them to you.

Oh, I don’t know. I’ll probably just go shopping or something. Well, yeah, maybe, what movie? What is that? Is that the one with . . . oh, with subtitles? No, I don’t think so. I don’t want to have to read a movie. Oh, with the fighting where they’re climbing the walls and stuff? Well, that might be cool. Can I find a trailer online? Yeah, I’ve got it in my favorites. Oh, have you seen the Rate My Spouse site? You’ll never believe who turned up there. You saw it? Isn’t that hysterical? What were they thinking? And he got all dressed up. How lame. Did you see the “mongoloid” comment? Yeah, that was me! Yes, I’m totally serious! I do that all the time. Anytime you see comments from “Judge Judy”, that’s me. Oh, I know, I love that show, too.

Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to watch local courts? And see people you know? Well, yeah, I know, but I mean on TV. And you could comment and vote from home. That’d be so funny. I’d be suggesting the death sentence for people: “Forget the DWI, she’s too ugly to live.”

What? No, no, no. That’s all taken care of. Well, no, I mean, the court part is over and everything. I’ve just got to finish the course. It’s so stupid. I wasn’t even technically drunk, and now I’ve got to sit in this classroom with a bunch of losers for another six weeks before I can even apply for my license again. It was just a guardrail, for God’s sake. And the people in the class are so dumb. You have to take this test about your drinking habits, right? If you fail, you fail the course and you’ve got to go to, like, rehab. And the questions are so obvious, it’s so easy to give the right answers, you know? You just lie: “Of course I can stop drinking after just one drink.” But, if you can believe it, people still failed. Such losers.

You didn’t tell anyone else about that did you? Because nobody else knows, all right? No, I know you wouldn’t, but, seriously, don’t tell anybody else. People are always shooting their mouths off.

He did? This is, what the third time? Well, he’s got a serious problem. That’s clear. He’s always been a screw-up, even when he was a kid, remember? Oh, yeah, his sister was telling me that he was still a bedwetter when he was, like, 13, which was right around the time their dad left. If I had a 13-year-old bedwetter, I might leave too. You didn’t know that? I thought everybody knew that. You did? When was that? You mean like a dinner-and-a-movie kind of thing? Oh, my God. You didn’t! Were you drunk? Oh, my God. No, no, don’t worry, I won’t. Yes, I promise.

But do you know what else his sister told me? You’re going to freak out, totally—but, remember, you didn’t hear it from me.

—John Rodat

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